St. Louis streetcars
Grand Central
WGBH Educational Foundation ; a Viewfinder Productions film for American Experience ; written and produced by Michael Epstein.
[Arlington, VA] : Distributed by PBS Home Video, [2008]
  1. DVD, widescreen.
  2. Closed captioned.
  3. Narrated by Joe Morton.
  4. Videodisc release of an episode of the television program, American Experience, produced in 2008.
  5. On February 1, 1913, more than 150,000 people eagerly rushed to Grand Central Terminal to gaze at New York City's newest landmark. The new Beaux Arts structure on 42nd street housed an underground electric train station that would revolutionize the way people traveled and transform midtown Manhattan. By 1947, over sixty-five million people, the equivalent of forty percent of the population of the United States, had traveled through the station.
The Great Society subway : a history of the Washington Metro
Zachary M. Schrag.
Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006.
Schrag (history, George Mason U.) sets the development of the Washington Metro in historical and political context. His examination of the general planning, routing decisions, station architecture, funding decisions, land-use impacts, and behavior of Metro riders, among other topics, does not attempt to deny some of the utilitarian and quantitative economic criticisms that have been leveled against the system, but it does conclude that as "a symbol of urbanity, a preserver of neighborhoods, a work of beauty, a political unifier, a shaper of space, and a meeting ground," Metro helps achieve some of the visions of Peter L'Enfant, the city's original planner, and the liberals of the Great Society era. Annotation 2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
Metropolitan railways : rapid transit in America
William D. Middleton.
Bloomington : Indiana University Press, c2003.
  1. Includes bibliographical references (p. 261-267) and index.
  2. The quest for rapid transit -- The era of the elevated -- Rapid transit goes underground -- Rapid transit at midcentury : new systems and a new era -- New metro technologies -- Light rail transit : new life for an old technology -- Conveyances for the multitudes -- A metropolitan railways renaissance.
Transit villages in the 21st century
Michael Bernick, Robert Cervero.
New York : McGraw-Hill, c1997.
Design tomorrow's transit villages today. Now you can see first-hand how such goundbreaking transit villages as Mission Valley station in San Diego and Ballston Station in northern Virginia are setting a new standard in urban development. In Transit Villages in the 21st Century, by Michael S. Bernick and Robert Burke Cervero, you'll see how to design efficient, environmentally friendly transit communities that hug metropolitan rail systems to reduce gridlock and spur growth. It shows you how to handle everything from transportation and real estate development to zoning, site planning and master planning. . .develop pedestrian access, mixed-use environments and diversified housing. . .create a ``sense of place'' in these unique communities. . .and much more. You also get detailed case studies showing how you can apply recent transit village successes in the U.S., Sweden, Canada and other countries.

On July 4, 1859 the first streetcar route was opened by the Missouri Railway Company. It ran east-west on Olive Street from Fourth and Tenth Streets. Soon other companies were laying tracks in different parts of the city. They were required to pay personal property tax on every wire, track, and pole in the street and they had to pave and maintain the space between the track and a portion on either side of it.

Future trolley service

Trolley service may be available in the future for St. Louis. METRO completed a feasibility study showing that a trolley service would improve traffic and parking in the loop, stimulate economic development, and is likely to be a hit with tourists.

There would be 2.2 miles of track connecting Forest Park and The Loop to the two MetroLink Stations at Forest Park and Delmar Loop.

Citizens for Modern Transit
The Loop Trolley Company

One of many streetcar manufacturing plants was started by German immigrant and wood craftsman, Frederick Brownell. He became so set in his ways he was unwilling to change any part of his design. J.H. Kobusch, his financial backer, and Peter Kling, the plant supervisor, saw this as an opportunity and started the St. Louis Car Company.

The St. Louis Car Company, existing from 18871973, was located at 3023 North Broadway. Before anyone knew it orders were coming in from across the country and around the globe. The St. Louis Car Company became the biggest streetcar builder in the world.

In the 1920's ridership was falling and buses were brought in to help expand routes and cut the cost of labor. Bus operators were not charged to drive on streets and highways that were maintained by taxpayers. So as street lines began to deteriorate, companies replaced the car lines with buses.

The construction of Highway I-70 threatened and ended service to many street lines. The last St. Louis streetcar route ended May 21, 1966 on the Hodiamont line.

Have you ever wonder about the differnece between a trolley or streetcar? There is no difference, they both have steel wheels and run on rails.

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff